tv [untitled] October 3, 2012 8:00pm-8:30pm PDT
in ecology, the think tanks that help keep us going and give us better ideas around the country as how we can do it. today, we are 70% recycling, -- 78% recycling, the highest in the nation. i hope we will get 2 1/2% with your help. thank you very much. [applause] stupak supervisor campos: good afternoon everyone and welcome to the june 28, 2012 meeting of
the joint city and school district select committee. i am the chair of the committee. we are joined by president chiu , commissioner fewer, commissioner maufas, and the following members of the committee are en route. supervisor olague and commissioner mendoza. we have also been joined by supervisor mar. the sfgtv staff covering the meeting, we want to thank them for their work. we also want to thank all of the members of sfusd and the members of the county who are here. if you could please call item no. 1. >> a hearing on the universal -- on the school district plans for
a transitional kindergarten. supervisor campos: thank you. this was an item that was continued from our last meeting to writ -- from our last meeting. i would like mr. trout to come and present this item. let me present some context. a lot of it has to do with the role of the select committee and dealing with these issues. we can coordinate and talk about, have a discussion about different issues that are impacting the city and the school district. a number of questions have been raised and the goal of this meeting is to provide information to members of the public. some issues have been raised in terms of whether or not certain actions should be taken by the san francisco unified school district, including actions
around the issue of waivers. that is a very important issue. to the extent that action is taken, those are things that have to have been at the san francisco board of education, not at this committee. we do not legally have the authority to direct the school district, which is a separate legal entity, to do anything. we hope to provide information today writ with that, i will turn it over to the school district. >> good afternoon. i am the executive director of the educational placement center. i am going to give you an update in terms of a transitional kindergarten program. district staff has been working for the past few weeks to work on implementation. we have processed all the applications that have been coming in. we give parents and families an
extended time line when we announced that we were expanding the program to 5 sites instead of the two originally offered. we have a little bit over 190 applicants who have come back to apply for our transitional kindergarten program and we will be offering it at the five sites that we previously announced. what we have also refined is our placement and assignment process for the transitional kindergarten. mr. trout has passed out a document that outlines the way that we are going to be making assignments into our program in the event that there is more demand for specific sites than there are seats available. we're going to mirror our student assignment process in a way that we are going to use
tiebreakers to make student assignments. they will be identified slightly differently than what we use for our k-12 assignments. if there are more applicants for a specific site, we will be using a tiebreaker process in hierarchical order. the first tiebreaker we will be using for students applying for a specific site will be students who are already enrolled in the pre-k program at these particular sites. if there is a student attending habbard in their pre-k program and are requesting t.k., that student will be placed in a tiebreaker and receive placement first. next, students who have a younger sibling who are already attending a pew -- a pre-k
program at that site and they are requesting they place their older sibling in the transitional kindergarten at that site. the sibling tiebreaker will be applied for those students who have younger siblings. the third tiebreaker will be students who are living in our identified load test score areas, the same areas identified for r k-12 placement. there will be a random selection of all other students that has no -- that have no tiebreakers. we believe we can offer a place mat -- a placement seat to a student who is requesting it at one of these sites. if we need more sites, some of these sites have the ability to add classrooms if we need to do that.
the assignment notification will be sent out to all families on july 16. parents will be able to begin school on august 20. supervisor campos: thank you very much for your presentation. any questions for the school district? thank you very much. why don't we open it up to public comment? from the outset, i will apologize that i have to leave early because i have to appear at a different hearing. given that there is a possibility of using a quorum at some point, i would like to limit public comment to 2 minutes per person per it -- per person. any member of the public who would like to speak, please come forward. you have two minutes. >> ♪ joint city school you make
learning brand new and we learn it all from you you make school brand new and we thank you for all you do make it all brand new ♪ supervisor campos: thank you. well put. next speaker, please. >> my name is heather murdoch. one of the things we did not hear in the san for a cisco unified presentation is any information on waivers. that is one of the main reasons this meeting was called again, to understand why they cannot implement a waiver program this
year. i understand they are looking at implementing one next year, so why not this year? i find myself in a position where i still do not have a public-school options for my son next year. i did look at the option very seriously. there is a 10-minute difference in starting times and a 12- minute driving distance. unless i am prepared to be late for the elementary school every day, i cannot do the one closest to my house. right now, there is a huge vacuum of nothing in terms of transitional kindergarten programs. i would like ask why it is such a difficult thing to implement waivers this year? as long as there are children who want to attend public
education and cannot, i do not think the job of the school district is done on this. suber as our compost -- supervisor campos: next speaker, please. speaking to the microphone, so we can hear you. >> i have a daughter and we were intending to send her to transitional kindergarten under the original plan proposed by the school district. she has been in a." program for the last year -- in a pre-k program for the last year and she is the only kid in her class not graduating because of transitional kindergarten being taken out of the elementary school. we have looked at different options for transitional kindergarten and none of them were correct. i wanted the school district to know that we are a family who are interested in this program,
but it does not work for us. the administrators, the schools do not know anything about the program. i came from work to come to this meeting. i am here to ask about waivers as well. less than one week after it was announced that transitional kindergarten would not be offered at all, my husband and i wrote a letter which we hand- delivered to the district offices, asking to have our situation looked at and request a waiver. basically saying, my kid is ready for kindergarten. i understand the changes, but an arbitrary cut off does not define the kid. some kids at five years old are not quite ready for kindergarten. my kid is. i am not saying she's a genius, but she is academically ready. and we brought in the academic request for a waiver, we got no response.
about a week later, a group of families came in to talk about this. we brought the same letter and a letter from our child's preschool and pediatrician stating that she is ready. no response. supervisor campos: thank you. next speaker, please. >> i am here again with my children to say that this t.k. option does not work for us because i do not have a way to dispatch my kids in the morning to four different places. i am still looking for the waiver. we were told there would be available next year. we are wondering why not this year? it was made explicit that it should be possible for parents to request a waiver and get it
and we still have not gotten anything. i am still waiting on you. thank you. supervisor campos: thank you. next speaker, please. >> my daughter is 4.5 years old and missed the cut off by one month. more than prepared. the kindergarten readiness act was signed in october. the school district could not find a way to generate a waivers program between then and now. we are the year that needs the attention. we are the ones that took the brunt of all this. try to explain to your 4.5 year- old daughter that she would not be in kindergarten after you board member mendoza for not being satisfied.
it is difficult to be satisfied when the wheel keeps turning and different decisions keep getting made. we are told one thing and then told something else. we just want to for dissipate, be in the public-school system. we are working parents and we want to pledge our time and money into the school system but we do not feel very welcome at all right now. we feel like we have done everything right yet we do not have any options. what we are asking for is not only a waiver but we want to be placed in one of the first three schools on our list. we know that a lot of time has passed and there is a lot of effort to change the dialogue and what is going on. the reality is we were told something that turned out not to be true back in january of this year. we just want to get our child into school and we would really appreciate the board to look at this further and do what you can for the parents who are going through this mess and have to deal with this on an immediate
basis. it is easy to look at this next year, but private school deadlines, opportunities to relocate out of the city, which we are now born to be faced with those decisions. i would really appreciate your assistance. supervisor campos: thank you. >> i am a parent. i just want to say that i support everything that the other parents have said. the waiver is very important this year for all of the confusion and lack of communication. i have no idea where my son is going to go. we are in district 5. there is no school in district 5 anywhere close to me. i will have to drive my child across town. some of the transitional kindergartens have no idea what -- what the program will be.
how am i supposed to make a decision on where to send my child when they do not know what they are going to be offering? it is not even close to my house. i turned in and acceptance, but i would rather send my son to a school in my neighborhood where i live near 4 very fine schools. i was hoping that was what we would get in the original plan to writ given what has happened to the many of the parents who do want the waiver, we really need the waiver this year. parents will have a lot more information next year. we were not able to plan at all three i was touring kindergartens all the way through february. i hope the school district will understand the frustration with the parents and put yourself in our place. we want the best for the
children and i think the child's welfare should be the first thing we think about here. not bureaucracy. thank you very much for listening. >> i am also a transitional kindergarten mom. we have gone from 400 applications down to 190. we have already lost 200 kids to either private schools or some other option. i think that is an important thing to look at. it is something we do not want to happen next year. i agree with the parents who want waivers for their kids. they were put into this position by no fault of their own. i do not see how the district can come up with something for these few parents to solve their issues, to make it easier for them. i have also toward the t.k. sites and i was not welcome. they do not want us there. they have made it clear that we
are displacing their preschool children carry five sites, 190 kids, we are being told it will be one room here and one room there. i am trying to figure out where the rest of them are going to go. nothing in the tenderloin, nothing in the western addition. i feel we have got in the short end of the stick and i would like to see sfusd tried to help the parents who want waivers. it would really mean something to us. thank you. supervisor campos: thank you very much. is there any other speaker who would like to speak? seeing none, public comment is closed. the waivers is an issue to be dealt with by the board of education. could you provide us with information on where that will be and how the district will be
dealing with that issue going forward? >> yes. my understanding is that the issue is not being considered for the 2012-21 -- 2012-2013 school year. given the challenges with what is going to happen with the budget, it affects transitional kindergarten or what is going on beyond that. we are waiting to see what will happen with the budget, especially with the taxes in november. i appreciate that that is very frustrated -- frustrating for parents, but we are all sharing frustration going forward. supervisor campos: colleagues, any questions? ok. we look forward to continuing to see the dialogue between the school district and the parent community. we have members of the board of
education who will hopefully continue to look at this issue. commissioner fewer: thank you for coming out today. some of the things that we can look into is at the t.k. sites to articulate better to the parents on what the curriculum will be light -- be like. i understand the frustration. i would also like to know -- to note that we heard some sites were not options for many parents and so we opened up three more sites. our early education runs at $3 million in the read every year. it has been an issue for us. we listened to parents and they
say that some sites are not an option because of the location. so we opened other sites. i am sorry we cannot have them in every neighborhood. our early education runs at $6 million in the read every year. most school districts do not run early education programs anymore. i also wanted to mention about waivers. our first priority is to seek every school age eligible child in kindergarten first. that is our main priority. we have had to pass more kindergarten classes and we have been struggling for space also because we have seen a big bump in our population. i am sorry there was not more communication from the district. i will follow up on that.
i also think there should be following up on the comment about your visit and feeling as though you were not welcome. i will also speak to the executive director of our early education program. is there anything you would like add to this, executive director of educational placement? commissioner maufas: will you be able to provide us and the supervisors here, not today, but at your earliest convenience, some information about how many members we have? i know you are running those numbers. if you have information now, that would be great. >> i can get that for you. to the families who are
applying, they can list any of the five or a combination of the five. we do have demand information. that was used for staff to plan the classrooms. yes, we can get you that information. supervisor campos: if we could have a motion to file. motion by president chiu, seconded by commissioner maufas. we can take that without objection. can you call the next item? >> item #2, a hearing to allocate a portion of the city's recent unexpected revenue to support the sfusd and to explore other ways the city can support sfusd schools. supervisor campos: thank you. this was an item requested and introduced by supervisor mar, who is here. supervisor mar: >> it feels like deja vu a little bit with
commissioner maufas and my old colleagues. we are happy to have parents, community organizations, the president of the teachers' union, administrators from the school district here. we have someone from the comptroller's office as well that can shed light on the public enrichment fund that can explain a little bit about the process for repaying the amount of money that was deferred over the past four years. i wanted to say that the impetus of this hearing was the city's announcement that, in the night -- in the nine month report, there were about $43.3 million of unexpected funds. now there are also announcements of additional tax money that was
announced. i know there is an ongoing parallel, a budget process that will probably go on into the night. it was a timing to call this hearing so that we can show this situation, the dire financial crisis in the school district. i applaud the school district for approving the budget on tuesday night. i know it was not easy. $567 million for the 56,000 students had a number of really good things about it. i know that there were some tremendous cuts, from reducing the school year by 4 days if it goes forward. also, if the state revenue measures do not pass, the $88.3 million deficit in the next two years could balloon to close to
$120 million. it is a dire crisis that not only impact the shortening of the school year, but increases in class sizes and potentially more layoffs and other issues that impact the district so heavily and parents and children. i know that i am strongly supportive of reoffer rising prop h, the voter-initiated measure that passed in 2004. in 2013, that is a top priority for many of us, to reauthorize prop h. also, the rainy day funds that the city provides. that is helping the school district. i think it was 53 -- i think it was $5.3 million this year and is projected for $4.7 million next year.
they are at $77 million annually. we have to do everything we can to step up the support to schools as the state is failing to do so. the lowest income kids in the hardest-to-cheek schools usually face biggest falling behind when we make the cuts. the achievement gap that is is a thin in our school district is a critical, strategical to reduce those gaps. in good years, when we have additional revenue, i am not sure if it is a really good year for the city right now, but as people wrangle over the amounts of money that we will have for this year and next year in the city budget, my hope is that this hearing can open up a conversation about how much more we need to do for schools.
on my list of revenue priorities, i included a number of measures that will help the school district and children and families. if the city has deferred payment of prop h funds to about $40 million, we should be paying some of that back now and not waiting until 2015 for writ that is an issue i want to open up for this discussion. we will have some presentations on the financial situation in the school district and that will help us. a number of additives from the school board to community-based groups have been saying reducing the number of furlough days might be one place. it would cost $3.5 million per day to reduce just one. one furloughed they would be about -- furlough day would be
about $3.5 million. reducing it by three days, i support that effort. i think we should be thinking about that as potential support for the school district, there is also placer that the city can do more. some applicants and members of the school board have been saying and equitable approach would be to support the effort to create requirements, capacity so that high school that have hundreds of students that will not graduate at least have a seventh period so that they can be ready. so we will have fewer students that do not graduate. so as many people as they can can graduate and go on to use these skills. there arnu